Johnny Lewis -- the "Sons of Anarchy" star who murdered his landlady, dismembered her cat and then fell to his death in what appears to be a drug-fueled rage -- had deep ties to Scientology and its drug abuse program ... TMZ has learned.
We've learned Johnny's father, Michael Lewis, has reached one of the highest levels in the Church of Scientology. In fact, in the 80s Michael co-wrote a movie with L. Ron Hubbard about L.Ron's "discovery" of Dianetics.
Johnny was also active in the Church, especially the drug abuse program -- Narconon. In 2004, Johnny is seen (above) speaking at a substance abuse prevention event in the O.C. on behalf of Narconon. The reason Johnny spoke was because he was in a new show, "Quintuplets," and Scientology posted on its website that Johnny's mother used the principles of Narconon to keep him off drugs, and it worked.
Ironically, it didn't work because -- as we reported -- Johnny was in rehab this year (not Narconon) and eyewitnesses say he was clearly on drugs at the time of the murder.
Interestingly ... after we contacted Scientology about this story, they removed the photo of Johnny from all of their websites as well as the story about his appearance at the O.C. drug abuse event.
A Scientology source tells TMZ ... Lewis was not active in the Church for several years.
Tom Treated Me
Like a Robot
7/6/2012 8:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Tom Cruise controlled Katie Holmes like a puppetmaster ... making every major and even minor decision in her personal and professional life ... and in the end, she felt like she couldn't breathe without his permission ... this according to sources close to the actress.
Movie studio-connected sources tell us Tom executed an "Art Kill" way back when Katie was doing "Thank You for Smoking" in 2005 ... when the 2 first started dating.
Sources tell us Tom instructed producers to "kill" any promotional photos which showed Katie and Aaron Eckhart engaged in kissing or "anything else compromising."
We're told Tom also imposed his will during "Batman Begins" ... prohibiting Katie from flying with the rest of the cast. Instead, Katie would only travel on Tom's private jet. One source tells us Morgan Freeman was "disgusted" by the situation. On the other side, however, one source scoffed and said, "Wow, Tom offered her his private jet. How terrible for Katie."
Ultimately, our Katie sources say she grew sick and tired of playing Pinocchio to Tom's Geppetto ... and decided it was time to cut the strings.
Morgan Freeman tells us, claims he was "disgusted" by Tom and Katie's situation are "BS."
Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes
7/5/2012 10:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Katie Holmes may say her decision to divorce Tom Cruise is over Scientology, but it's NOT ... so say sources directly connected to Tom.
Our sources tell us ... they believe Katie and her team are leaking false stories to the media by maintaining she was trying to save Suri from the grips of Scientology, and that's why she left Tom.
As one well-connected Tom source put it, "She [Katie] was totally committed to Scientology. She had enthusiasm for it and would voluntarily and gladly participate in it when Tom was off shooting movies."
The source adds, "This is not a fight over religion. It's being used as a way to hurt Tom."
And on the subject of hurting Tom, as we first reported, sources connected with the actor tell us Katie's people have made it difficult for him to speak with Suri by phone, but he's talked to her every day. He has no immediate plans to see his daughter because he's leaving today or tomorrow to shoot his new movie in the Rockies.
Tom's lawyers have not filed any docs in court -- yet -- to establish his custodial rights. If that happens, we're told they will file in New York, although it's pretty clear they will ask to have the case sent to California.
And, as for what Tom's people say the divorce is really about ... they won't say yet, but tell us it's coming.
Katie is Using Suri as a Weapon
7/5/2012 10:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have cut off all contact with each other, and her people are making it difficult for Tom to have contact with his daughter ... sources very familiar with the situation tell TMZ.
Although Tom now has "absolutely no contact with Katie," his people are negotiating/bickering with Katie's people over when and how Tom can talk to Suri. We're told Tom does speak with his daughter by phone at least once a day, but sources connected with Tom say it hasn't been easy.
We're told when Tom's on the phone with Suri, there is one place he has not gone ... he has NOT discussed the breakup of his marriage with his daughter.
As for when Tom will attempt to see Suri ... sources say it's not going to happen for awhile. We're told Tom was in L.A. for the 4th but he's leaving before the weekend to shoot his new movie in the Rockies.
Our sources say things are "really bitter now" between Tom and Katie. He feels betrayed by her and thinks she is using Suri as a weapon.
And you don't need sources to know one thing -- if he's blocked from seeing Suri, his lawyers will make a beeline for court.
I Don't Want Scientology Interrogating Suri
7/4/2012 9:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Katie Holmes desperately wanted to save Suri from a form of interrogation practiced by the Church of Scientology that she was steadfastly against ... TMZ has learned.
Sources close to Katie tell TMZ, back in 2005 she had witnessed Tom's other kids participating in a Scientology ritual she found to be troubling ... and feared Tom would drag Suri through the same process.
Ex-Scientologists call the process "sec checking." Here's the way it works. The subject holds electrode handles on a device called an e-meter and is then asked a series of personal questions that help the Church locate "areas of spiritual distress."
Some ex-Scientologists claim the questions include:
-- What has somebody told you not to tell?
-- Have you ever decided you did not like some member of your family?
-- Have you ever bullied a smaller child?
-- Have you ever lied to a teacher?
-- Have you ever done something you were very much ashamed of?
-- Have you ever refused to obey an order from someone you should obey?
-- Have you ever gotten yourself dirty on purpose?
During the process, a person called an "auditor" collects e-meter readings.
Several ex-Scientologists have come out against "sec checking," claiming it's a mild form of psychological terrorism designed, in part, to get children to report on their parents.
We're told Katie would have none of it and it is one of the reasons she broke from the Church and ultimately Tom.
7/3/2012 9:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Katie Holmes will be getting virtually nothing from Tom Cruise by way of $$$$ because their prenup cuts her out of his fortune ... and sources connected with Katie tell us it's just fine with her.
We've learned the prenup Katie signed is long, tight and stacked in Tom's favor. We're told reports that she'll walk away with $15-20 million are absurd. Our sources say Katie will walk away with what she brought into the marriage ... and hardly anything else.
Our Katie sources tell us, "She's not about the money. She's not that girl. She loves to work."
We're told there's one thing Katie is insistent on -- she wants child support from Tom, and that could turn into a big ticket item.
As for whether Katie will challenge the prenup ... it's pretty common when a divorcing couple is in conflict, and our Katie sources are not ruling that out. But they insist, "Money is not that important to her. She makes plenty on her own."
One final point ... a well-placed source connected with the couple tells us, the prenup that basically gives Katie bupkis is proof the marriage is not a sham -- she didn't tie the knot for the loot.
Church of Scientology
Suri Is NOT a Candidate for Sea Org.
7/2/2012 3:19 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The Church of Scientology is adamant ... nobody under the age of 16, including Suri Cruise, is allowed to join its elite Sea Organization.
The Church's lawyer has released a statement ... saying in addition to the minimum age requirement (16 years old), minors must have "consent of both parents and/or all legal guardians" in order to join.
The lawyer adds, "There are no exceptions to that policy."
As TMZ first reported, Katie Holmes is concerned Tom Cruise will put 6-year-old Suri in the Sea Org. in the very near future ... and she clearly does NOT want that to happen.
Nonetheless ... the Church is adamant ... no one under 16 can become part of Sea Org.
The Wedding Ring
Finally Comes Off
7/2/2012 1:42 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
It's gone -- Katie Holmes has finally removed her wedding ring.
Holmes was photographed moments ago in NYC, as she left a "Project Runway" taping ... sans finger jewelry.
Katie had worn the ring as recently as last week -- just days before she filed for divorce from Tom on Thursday.
TMZ broke the story ... Katie believes her marriage to Tom became "irretrievably broken" at least 6 months ago -- so the fact that she was still wearing her wedding ring last week is another sign she intentionally blindsided Tom with divorce papers.
Further proof -- Tom was wearing his ring last week too.
My Marriage to Tom
Was Kaput in 2011
7/2/2012 12:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
TMZ has learned ... Katie Holmes says her marriage to Tom Cruise was "irretrievably" broken at least 6 months prior to her filing for divorce ... this according to divorce documents filed in New York.
Sources connected to Tom tell TMZ ... Katie's contention is baffling, because he had "no idea" she was about to file for divorce. As the sources told us last week, Tom was "blindsided" by the filing.
Indeed, take a look at the pic (below) of Tom and Katie strolling the streets of Iceland hand-in-hand a little more than 2 weeks ago.
But wait ... there's more.
We've also learned ... Katie claims in her divorce documents that both she and Tom have been residents of New York for "at least 2 years." Katie, who filed in NYC, must establish legal residency in NY in order for the court to have jurisdiction -- something she wants because New York courts are more likely to grant sole custody of Suri.
No doubt ... Tom -- who shared a home with Katie in Beverly Hills for years -- will fight the residency claim tooth and nail.
Fires Security Team
They're Too Close to Tom
7/2/2012 10:34 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Katie Holmes has fired her old security team because they were way too close to Tom Cruise ... TMZ has learned.
The team -- made up of a bodyguard and driver -- worked for Tom for years, before Tom even met Katie ... and when he and Katie hooked up, Tom assigned the duo to Katie full-time.
The security team worked directly for Katie for years -- but today, Katie appeared with a new security detail made up of 5-6 bodyguards. Neither the old bodyguard nor the driver was anywhere in sight.
Sources connected to the actress tell us, Katie let the old team go after filing for divorce last week -- because of their allegiance to Tom. It's unclear if the duo were Scientologists.
The last time Katie was seen with her old security team was last Tuesday. Katie filed for divorce on Thursday.
Here's What Freedom Looks Like
7/2/2012 10:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
10:14 AM PT -- Katie is in NYC to tape an episode of "Project Runway: All Stars."
We're told Katie will be a guest judge.
Katie Holmes finally surfaced in New York City today ... flanked by security ... and sporting the look of a woman who's unencumbered by marriage or religion.
It's the first time Katie has been seen in public since she filed for divorce from Tom Cruise last week.
According to reports, Tom is still in Iceland ... where he's been filming a movie.
TMZ broke the story, Katie is bailing from the marriage because she believes Tom wants to put 6-year-old Suri into a hardcore Scientology group known as Sea Org.
Afraid Tom Would Ship Suri To Radical Scientology Org
7/2/2012 8:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The final straw in Katie Holmes' decision to file for divorce was that she was convinced Tom Cruise was going to send 6-year-old Suri away to a hardcore Scientology organization known as Sea Organization ... sources connected with Katie tell TMZ.
Sea Org, as it is known, is where the highest levels of Scientology are taught -- and according to the Church website, it is composed of adults and minors who have committed their lives to the volunteer service of their religion. Our sources say Tom is a big fan.
Our sources say Katie and Tom had been arguing over Suri's indoctrination into Scientology -- and we're told the Sea Org was the flashpoint.
The Sea Org has been often compared to a boot camp and several ex-Scientologists (including Oscar winner Paul Haggis) have been outspoken against its military-like conditions. The Freewinds, the massive Scientology boat that was the location of Cruise's infamous birthday party in 2004, is entirely staffed by Sea Org members.
According to the official Scientology website, members of Sea Org sign "a one-billion-year pledge to symbolize their eternal commitment to the religion and it is still signed by all members today."
Katie herself has first-hand knowledge of the Sea Org. When Holmes and Cruise first hooked up in 2005, Jessica Feshbach, a prominent Scientologist who had been with the Sea Org since 1994, was transferred and became Katie's assistant/Scientology chaperone. Feshbach, in one of Katie's first interviews after getting together with Cruise, was described by a writer for W magazine as "cold-eyed" and "a third-wheel."
In the end ... we're told Katie felt the only way to save Suri from being shipped off to Sea Org was to file for divorce and seek sole legal custody.
Church of Scientology
We're NOT Tailing Katie
7/1/2012 6:06 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The Church of Scientology has responded to TMZ’s story ... that Katie Holmes believes she is being followed by the Church -- they say it ain't so.
Gary Soter, lawyer for the Church, tells TMZ ... the Church of Scientology is not following Katie or conducting surveillance on her in the wake of her divorce with Tom Cruise.
As we previously reported, several vehicles have been on Katie’s tail in recent weeks, but again the lawyer says the Church is not behind it.